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CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE BLOG

November 9, 2012

US Voters Approve 75% of Bond Initiatives
Filed under: Industry outlook — Tags: — nedpelger

How people vote on state and local bond initiatives gives an indication about their economic optimism. If you’re pessimistic about the economy, you’re less likely to approve public works spending that will raise your taxes.

An ENR article today reported that 75% of the state and local bond initiatives got approved in this week’s election. The bond referendums approved $3.2B US in the states and $36B US locally (mostly for schools).

The sign below helped the passage of a $750M US higher education bill (the first one approved in 25 years).

Arkansas voters approved a temporary 1/2% state sales tax increase to improve their roads and bridges.

Michigan voters, in a very different measure, rejected a requirement that international bridges or tunnels would have to be approved by a state referendum.┬áThis odd measure was pushed by the owner of the only bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. The Canadians offered to build the bridge at no cost to Michigan, but the existing bridge owner didn’t want to see his toll revenues drop. I love America.

Overall, though, these bond approvals sends a good message about the future of construction. Housing starts are rising through out the country and folks seem to be in a buying mood again. If you’re trying to time when to jump back into the market, this seems to be it.

CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE BLOG

October 12, 2012

A Day Made of Glass: Scenes that will Change Construction
Filed under: Computers in Construction — Tags: — nedpelger

Here’s a video that you really should take a few minutes to watch. You’ll be inspired to see the future and hopefully moved to make some changes to better accommodate.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38

Can you imagine a job site with several large glass screens which can show all the building plans? Imagine the designers thinking through how to best show the information that the guys need on site to build.

The current standard (generally badly drawn 2D architectural plans) is so poor, I don’t see it incrementally improving. When these new changes come, the firms that utilize them will thrive and the firms that don’t will die.

I know where I want to be on that continuum and am making steps to get there. Hope you’re the same.